How To Have Yourself A Minimalist Christmas

Minimalist Christmas | Simplifying Xmas | Minimalism | Simplify

It may come but once a year, but that doesn’t make Christmas any less stressful. Apart from all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. there’s also all the extra “stuff” to deal with. This can be anxiety-inducing, particularly when you've been making a concerted effort to declutter. So how can you have yourself a minimalist Christmas in the midst of all the chaos?

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Minimalist Christmas | Simplifying Xmas | Minimalism | Simplify

The holiday season is officially upon us (though retailers would have you believe it started in September) and I feel very conflicted about it. On the one hand, I love Christmas and all the twinkling lights and tacky decorations. (I’m a 5-year-old at heart.) On the other, now that I’ve embraced minimalism, the thought of all that “extra” fills me with dread.

Maybe you’re in the same love-hate relationship, wanting to simplify but getting swept up in the modern current of “more”. It can feel like, in the battle of Christmas vs. minimalism, there can only be one winner.

The solution lies in how we define minimalism. After a lot of research, I’ve noticed it means slightly different things to different people but, at its core, it’s about freedom. It’s about giving yourself more room to live, move, breathe, love, create, etc.

Minimalism isn’t about emptiness, it’s about consciously creating space.

It’s easy for me to blame feelings of anxiety or overwhelm on the fact that there’s now a Christmas tree and some decorations in the house. The place is a little more cramped and I feel closed in by it.

And even though it’s on the same date at the end of every single year, and the shops are sure to let you know at least 3 months in advance, Christmas always seems to creep up on me. It’s easy to scoff in September when shelves start filling with gifts and decorations, but all it does is get me into that “there’s ages left” mentality until BAM, it’s Christmas week and I’m tearing my hair out looking for last-minute presents.

The reality is that it’s not really Christmas itself that has me concerned, it’s that I haven’t made enough space for it. I haven’t adapted and adjusted to suit the season; I’ve simply tried to squash it into my sitting room.

Minimalist Christmas | Simplifying Xmas | Minimalism | Simplify

I still have toys on the floor, dirty dishes on the counters, papers piled up on the kitchen table… Instead of consciously choosing to make way for Saint Nick, I’ve shoehorned him into our cramped quarters. I’ve allowed myself to be so caught up in the decorating and shopping and general festive frivolities that I’ve neglected my regular routines, like cleaning.

I’ve been lulled into laziness because “it’s Christmas”.

If you’re a minimalist like me, or even if you’re just trying to keep a tight check on the clutter in your home, and you’re feeling a little uncomfortable about Christmas, ask yourself if you’ve made enough space for it in your life. Have you physically made a little extra space by maybe moving some things into the attic temporarily? Have you given yourself a little extra breathing space in your schedule to allow for shopping and parties? Have you set aside some time on a regular basis to relax and unwind in the middle of all the chaos? Have you simplified for the season?

Minimalist Christmas | Simplifying Xmas | Minimalism | Simplify

If you love the holidays, but fear the influx of “stuff”, just start making some space. Make conscious decisions about where everything will go and how you’ll deal with it. Let people know that you won’t be sending out cards this year and, if someone insists on getting you something, say you’d prefer “experience” gifts and practical presents, or even a donation in your name. Be strict with your old routines, like cleaning, but flexible in your new ones, like cooking and baking.

For even more tips, watch my video below on how to have a less stressful Christmas:

Make some space for Christmas while still maintaining good habits, and you’ll find that you don’t have to sacrifice your minimalist ideals for a sackful of presents and a belly-load of mince pies.

LET ME KNOW...

Did you prefer Christmas as a child or do you love it more now?

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6 Comments

  1. Completely agree! I chose to spend it alone this year and it has been wonderful. I wrote about my very minimal Christmas here if you’re interested 🙂 http://www.rosieleizrowice.com/blog/christmas

    Rosie

    • Apologies for the late reply but the link in your comment meant it got sent to the spam filter. :/ Hope you had a great Christmas, Rosie. Happy New Year to you!

  2. So I’m a bit late here because I spent a lot of time unplugging over the holidays, but I was stressing about this as well. I didn’t *want* to do Christmas presents four days after we’d packed up what we wanted to keep and donated/recycled everything else (my husband and I just moved from Scotland to my hometown in Canada). In general, I took the approach of thoughtful, meaningful gifts so that I wasn’t giving other people clutter ^_^

    I love the idea of creating space, though, rather than viewing Christmas as something else to clutter your space. I’ll keep that in mind next year!

    • It managed to clutter up my space in the end anyway, despite all the clearing I did. 😉 But it did make the RUN-UP to Christmas a lot less stressful. So now I just have to figure out how to deal with all the presents. I’m thinking I’ll let my daughter choose which ones she wants to keep for now, and the rest will go in the attic to be rotated down later.

      It’s a work in progress!

      Wishing you a wonderful 2017. Good to see you back.

      • Aye, I can imagine there’s a lot more stuff when you’ve got a wee one! I only exchanged gifts with my immediate family, so I really didn’t need to worry about clutter, considering they know me so well and so I got a few thoughtful gifts and that was it – which is absolutely the perfect Christmas for me!

        Hope you have a wonderful 2017, too ^_^

        • I tried to mostly give gifts that were either practical (clothes) and/or could be used up (toiletries). But yes, it’s my daughter who gets the most!

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